...recent posts by megan
The Sydney Morning Herald
Over 600 NGOs have spoken out against the three second-hand heavy oil power plants from China under construction in East Timor. The $400 million project will commit East Timor to importing expensive heavy oil well into the future, despite the country being rich in natural gas, and may create a number of health and environmental problems such as acid rain, water pollution, toxic solid waste, particulate air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, has announced that the Maldives will aim to stop using fossil fuels by 2020, thus virtually eliminating the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This sends an important message to other countries who, despite considerable responsibility for climate change, are failing to act- putting nations such as the Maldives, which is only 2m above sea level, at severe risk of climate change induced catastrophe.
The mayors of three of Australia’s biggest mining cities- Newcastle (NSW), Gladstone (QLD) and Mount Isa (QLD), have called for the Federal Emissions Trading Scheme to be delayed. The mayors claim that an ETS will hurt regional economies and create mass job losses in a time of economic down turn, and avoiding this should be our first priority. Just how long the ETS should be delayed has not been specified.
Melbourne’s water storage currently stands at 30.3% and the Victorian Government has warned it may fall below 30% this week. Whilst up to 20 millimetres of rain is expected by Monday it is unlikely to make a significant difference.
Meanwhile, the Government is trying encourage households to save water through rebate incentives, rather than increasing water restrictions, which aren’t due for review until November.
The terms of reference for a Senate inquiry into the much talked about Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) were agreed to in a deal struck between the Federal Opposition emissions trading design spokesman Andrew Robb and Australian Greens climate change spokeswoman Christine Milne on Monday. This comes after an enquiry into the ETS was scrapped by Treasurer Wayne Swan.
The motivation for the enquiry comes from the desire for a higher commitment to cut emissions for the Greens. The Opposition, however, is concerned about job losses under the proposed ETS.
Whilst the enquiry would be due to report by Budget in May, the terms must first be ratified by the coalition’s Senate partyroom, due to meet this morning.
The Government has listed 33 “trade exposed” industries that qualify for free permits under a carbon trading scheme. Whilst this alone has angered many environment groups, a further blow has been dealt in the form of a review committee established by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong. The committee, led by former Caltex chairman Dick Warburton will review the cases of industries not successfully classified as “trade exposed”.
This news has come as the Australian Industry Group, a close Government ally, changed its stance on the emissions trading scheme, calling for its delayed to 2012, a call which was later backed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Sydney Morning Herald
According to an analysis prepared by the Defence Force’s strategic policy division, “environmental stress” across the Pacific, caused by global warming induced rising sea levels, will increase the risk of conflict over food due to changed fishing and harvest patterns. This will subseqently require extra naval deployments to deal with increases in illegal migration and fishing.
Further, greater access to oil and gas deposits created by melting ice-caps is expected to spark serious global conflict.
This warning comes as James Hanson, a leading NASA scientist singled out Australia’s coal exports as a significant cause of global climate change in an open letter to Obama.
earlier entries »